Hilbert V’s Blog

“Let’s Unite, Let’s Innovate, The World is Ours!”

AutoCollage: Summarize Your Adventures with a Click.

Posted by hilbertv on February 4, 2009

AutoCollage, an easy, novel framework for the automatic creation of representative collages from collections of photos, became available to the general public on Sept. 4 from Microsoft Research. Utilizing a collection of sophisticated technological techniques, AutoCollage is simple to use, produces attractive imagery, and, perhaps most important, is a whole lot of fun.

It works like this: AutoCollage—which works with either Windows Vista or Windows XP Service Pack 2 and above—cuts out interesting parts of photos and combines them together, following natural features as boundaries between images. The selected pieces are sized similarly and assembled into a pleasing whole.y1pxZlAJuxo_GDbs45jY3n3Yp8Q3YpmLNUobS_KSarfqzJfVLd382mogikMObqtUimtbx9bVBdVesQ

Photo: V.Hilbert, Microsoft Student Partner presenting the Technical Sessions.

“The most significant feature that differentiates AutoCollage is that it offers exceptionally sophisticated blending technology for photographs, powered by state-of-the-art computer-vision techniques.” – Alisson Sol, Dev.Manager, Incubation and Tech Transfer Team.

The AutoCollage application, driven by the Microsoft Research Cambridge Incubation team, is a result of worldwide collaboration. Although much of the work was performed at Microsoft Research Cambridge—with the Computer Vision, Incubation and Tech Transfer, Computer-Mediated Living, and Constraint Reasoning groups at that lab all making contributions—Microsoft Research associates in Redmond and Beijing also played key roles.

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Imagine Cup Egypt ‘09 has Dawn..!

Posted by hilbertv on January 26, 2009

IC '09

Imagine Cup Egypt’ 09 has Dawn!

 The World’s most Premier Student Technology Competition has begun. The Theme for this year is to help the world by providing technical solutions for the Eight Millennium Goals as identified by the United Nations. The various competitions available are,

  1. Software Design
  2. Embedded Development
  3. Game Development
  4. Robotics & Algorithms
  5. IT Challenge
  6. Mashup
  7. Photo story
  8. Short Film

Wish You all the Best…! thumbs_up

Go to Imagine Cup…

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RoboChamps is Back..!

Posted by hilbertv on January 16, 2009

ROboChamps

RoboChamps Season has begun! Let’s Start Automating…

RoboChamps is a new robotics programming league that removes those barriers to entry and makes robotics available to a broad audience. RoboChamps is based in simulation, which removes the barriers to entry of availability, cost, and deep hardware knowledge. RoboChamps is more specifically built on top of the simulation functionality provided in Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio 2008, which means that you can program your robots using the .NET languages that you are already familiar with.

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LEADER ARTICLE: Education For The Future ( 3 Apr 2008, 0018 hrs IST,Bill Gates )

Posted by hilbertv on January 4, 2009

Historically, if we wanted to understand what someone’s income level was, all we had to do was ask what country they were from.

In the future, this will no longer be true. Instead, we’ll ask what level of education they have achieved. This is because information and communications technology is opening up enormous opportunities for many more people to participate in the global economy, no matter where they may live. Soon, the prospects of a highly educated young person in India or almost any other emerging economy will match those of a young person in Europe or the United States, and opportunity will depend not on where you live, but what you know.

This change means education is the most important investment that governments make. To thrive in this new world, developed and developing countries alike need to focus on building the creative and productive capacities of their workforce. In an increasingly globalised economy, knowledge and skills are the key differentiators of nations as well as individuals. India is a great example of the power of this approach. An emphasis on education has been the catalyst for the rise of an information technology industry that has created new opportunities for hundreds of thousands of people and established India as an important global centre for innovation.

Today, powerful new tools are making it easier than ever to disseminate knowledge and expand educational opportunities. I applied to study at Harvard University nearly 35 years ago. I was attracted partly by the chance to hear great lectures from Harvard’s brilliant faculty. Now, universities offer online lectures, discussion groups, examinations, and degrees to students all over the world. Technology is making higher education – and economic opportunity – available to more people, regard-less of their location.

Likewise in primary and secondary schools, educators are integrating technology tools into the curriculum so they can access classroom materials that will enable them to improve educational quality and teach the relevant skills that are the foundation for success in today’s world.

I have seen how software can help millions of people be more productive and creative. I believe that software can also play a critical role in helping societies address their most difficult challenges. Software and technology innovation can help strengthen healthcare, protect the environment, improve education, and extend social and economic opportunities. Because information technology and education are so critical to creating economic opportunities, Microsoft is deeply committed to improving technology access and fostering innovative teaching and learning methods. In developing countries and in less prosperous communities where we do business, we believe in equipping students with the practical skills they need to thrive in today’s knowledge economy.

To achieve these goals, in 2003 we launched a five-year, $250 million initiative called Microsoft Partners in Learning. Since then, we’ve worked closely with educators, government policymakers and community leaders in more than 100 countries. To date, Partners in Learning programmes have reached more than 3.6 million teachers and school leaders, and more than 76 million students.

In India, Partners in Learning has supported Project Shiksha, a programme designed to increase computer literacy by providing training for students and teachers, supporting the development of IT curriculum, and offering scholarships to top teachers and students.

Working with government officials and educators across India, we have helped provide training for more than 200,000 teachers and over 10 million students since Project Shiksha was launched in 2003.

Currently, an information technology curri-culum developed by us is being introduced in teacher training colleges across the state of Maharashtra with a goal of providing technology skills training to more than 100,000 student teachers. In the next three years or so they’ll have the skills and knowledge to incorporate technology into their classrooms in meaningful ways after they graduate.

We are deeply committed to supporting programmes like Project Shiksha that can help deliver the benefits and opportunities that technology and quality education can provide to ever-greater numbers of young people. As a result, in late January, we have renewed Partners in Learning by making a second five-year investment that will bring total spending in the programme to nearly $500 million globally. Our plan is to intensify our focus on the needs, interests and dreams of young people, who hold the keys to the economic and social future of every nation. Our goal is to expand programmes to help transform education in order to reach more than 250 million students and teachers across the world during the next five years.

Computers and the internet have changed our world, but their ultimate impact will be far greater than anything we have seen so far. In the future, as technology continues to advance, it will play even more important roles in education, business, government, the economy and society. By working with educators to help improve student learning, we seek to make sure that more of the world’s people have opportunities to enjoy the full benefits of technology, regardless of where they were born.

(This article is by the Chairman, Microsoft Corporation.)

( Courtesy : The Times of India, dated 3 Apr 2008)

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Getting Started with WPF

Posted by hilbertv on December 16, 2008

Are you new to the world of WPF..? Well, then you can understand and get started with the following Webcast.

Hope you like it..!

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Architectural Design Principles of WPF

Posted by hilbertv on December 7, 2008

The design principles behind Windows Presentation Foundation can be categorized as follows:

Integration: Windows Presentation Foundation offers a unified API that spans the services identified in Table 1. Developers today are faced with a myriad choice of disparate technologies and APIs, depending on whether they are targeting 2D graphics (GDI or GDI+), user interface (USER32 or Windows Forms), media (DirectShow), or 3D (Direct3D or OpenGL). Windows Presentation Foundation provides a single model that is orthogonal across all these services and allows seamless integration of content within a single application. You can use the same constructs for animation, data binding and styling, regardless of whether you are targeting 2D, 3D or text content.

Vector graphics: As described in the introduction, Windows Presentation Foundation takes full advantage of the powerful Graphical Processing Units that are part of modern PC systems. At its heart, the composition engine is vector-based, allowing for scaling of all output to match the resolution of a specific machine. The rendering architecture uses Direct3D for all output: on video cards that implement DirectX 7 or later in hardware, Windows Presentation Foundation renders output using the GPU wherever possible. In situations where hardware rendering cannot be used, software rendering is available as a fallback. Lastly, a floating-point logical pixel system and 32-bit ARGB color support provide a rich high-fidelity experience that anticipates future technology needs, such as high-DPI displays.

Declarative programming: Windows Presentation Foundation introduces XAML (eXtensible Application Markup Language), an XML-based language for instantiating and populating nested object hierarchies. While XAML isn’t exclusively tied to Windows Presentation Foundation, it is inherently suitable for tasks such as UI definition and construction. The design of XAML allows applications to parse and manipulate UI logic at run-time for dynamic workflow scenarios. Importantly, the XAML / code-behind model embodied in Windows Presentation Foundation allows designers and developers to work collaboratively on client application design and development, using tools such as Expression as well as third-party specialist tools including ZAM 3D and Mobiform Aurora.

Easy deployment: With support for both standalone applications and Web-browser applications, Windows Presentation Foundation offers the best of both deployment models. Web-browser applications run from within Internet Explorer, either occupying the entire window or within an inline frame. They offer the ease of deployment for which Web applications are famed, as well as operating within a partial trust sandbox that protects the client machine against malicious applications. Yet they can still take advantage of the local client hardware and use 3D and media services for the richest Web experience available today. On the other hand, standalone applications are locally installed via ClickOnce or MSI technologies and offer full access to the underlying platform.

Document lifecycle: Windows Presentation Foundation introduces a new set of document and print technologies. Applications that need to persist data to a local store can use the Open Packaging Conventions, a ZIP-based packaging convention shared with Office 2007 that supports core properties and custom metadata, digital signatures and rights management functionality. For applications that want to share documents for collaboration across multiple machines, even without the application installed, the XML Paper Specification allows visuals to be fixed in a printable, portable format.

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WPF Architecture

Posted by hilbertv on December 7, 2008

image

ARCHITECTURE: This diagram shows the basic architecture for WPF. Notice all the different media types (in yellow) that are handled by WPF: Vectors, Bitmaps, 3D, Audio and Video, Text and Effects! Second, notice how the animation capabilities of WPF spans across all the media types, allowing you to animate any kind of content. The WPF Composition Engine (in black) is one of the revolutionary features of WPF. This engine provides capability of having live content inside of another content. This means that you can have a 3D object rotating inside a Button control and furthermore you can have a video projected over the surface of the 3D object! This tree structure and nesting capability is available for all content and every control that WPF provides.

WPF is not only about rich user interfaces but also about high fidelity information, connection and data. Controls, Layout and Databinding are just some of the examples of this power. The XPS format is a rich document definition that allows us to enjoy the best of WPF in a document. In summary, WPF represents an evolution in terms of richness, interactivity as well as information and data.

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Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF)

Posted by hilbertv on December 7, 2008

The .NET Framework 3.0 introduced a new way of creating Desktop applications with WPF code named ‘Avalon’. WPF delivers applications with rich multimedia support and high interactivity. WPF like Silverlight is based on XAML file for UI design, with the Business logic being placed in the code behind file.

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Silverlight 2.0

Posted by hilbertv on December 7, 2008

The Big release of Silverlight 2.0 RTW was made in 25th October, 2008. Early the Beta 1 and Beta 2 were made during march,2008 and July, 2008 respectively. Silverlight 2.0 included the common controls like buttons, textboxes, layout controls like Grid, canvas, stack panel etc., along with the data controls like Data grid, listbox etc., Silverlight 2.0 has rich networking support for calling REST, RSS, SOAP and standard HTTP access. It provides cross domain network access and build in socket networking. The Library is enriched with Linq and Linq to xml. It provides revolutionary video streaming, on the whole it is sure that it will take web to the next generation.

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Silverlight 1.1

Posted by hilbertv on December 7, 2008

Silverlight 1.1 was released with the Common Language Runtime (CLR) of .NET framework 3.0., It enabled the developers to use any .NET language such as C# or VB.NET. It also supports Ruby and Iron python. Silverlight 1.1 has flexible registered event handlers in addition to the business logic being placed in the Code behind file. It produces a Xap file as output which could be used as a single package file during hosting.

Silverlight 1.1 does not require an ASP.NET server meaning that it could be hosted in PHP server too.

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